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I'm adopted. Can I find out about my birth parents?

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I'm adopted. Can I find out about my birth parents?
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Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies
Adoption Council of Ontario
Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies

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I'm adopted. Can I find out about my birth parents?
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Reviewed: 
May 15, 2018
Answer

You may be able to find out about your birth parents.

In Ontario, adoption records are open and available to anyone who was adopted. This means that once you turn 18, you can ask for information about your adoption from the Ontario government.

But, your birth parents have some control over:

  • how much information you can get about them
  • what kind of information you can get about them
  • whether they want to be contacted and if so, how they want to be contacted

If you were born in Ontario and the adoption took place in Ontario, you can ask for 2 types of information: 

  • identifying information, which will tell you the names of your birth parents
  • non-identifying, which will give you information about the adoption, but will not tell you the names of your birth parents

If you were adopted after September 1, 2008, you can usually get identifying information about your birth parents.

But if you were adopted before September 1, 2008, your birth parents may have filed a disclosure veto. A disclosure veto means that their identifying information, including their name, will not be released.  

Even if your birth parents chose not to identify themselves, they may have made family or medical history available to you.

If your adoption was finalized in Ontario, you can put your name on the adoption disclosure register. If your birth parents, grandparents or siblings also put their names on the register, you may be matched.

Adoptions outside Ontario

If you were born outside Ontario or the adoption took place outside Ontario, you have to contact the province or country where you were born to find out what information they can share with you.

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